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Mom “dreading” first Christmas without beloved son

A grieving mother who says her son “loved everything about Christmas” is raising awareness as she prepares to spend her first Christmas without him.

Nine-year-old Riley Gregerson was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in January 2020. He underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but eventually his treatment options ran out. Tragically, Riley died on 31st August 2021.

Riley’s mom Gemma is now facing her first Christmas without her only child and says she is “dreading” it less than four months after her devastating loss. She said: “I wasn’t going to put up my tree but I’ve done it, reluctantly, as I think Riley would have wanted me to. Normally, the Christmas music would be on repeat by now but this year, I can’t listen to it without him, it’s just horrible. I’m thinking about doing a balloon release with some friends and family on Christmas Eve and I’ll spend the festive period with relatives, so I won’t be on my own, but I’ve no doubt it will be really tough.”

Gemma is sharing Riley’s story to help raise awareness of this disease and has reached millions with articles on BBC News Online and The Mirror Online.

She added: “Riley always wanted to help people. After he died, so many people told me about how caring he was. I found out that he used to look after a little girl in reception class, who was being picked on. One thing I am pleased to do this Christmas is to share our story to help raise awareness, in the hope that I can help to make a difference, in Riley’s name.”

Our thoughts are with Gemma and all of Riley’s loved ones at this difficult time.

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